02-15-2013, 10:03 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Feb 6 On to Peru
Road through the mountains heading to the Macara border crossing was quite plesant. Nice curves, great scenery and pretty good pavement.
Right out of Loja I run into stopped traffic. As the line moves up I discover the lane going the other way is stopped at about the same place. Bunch of folks with clipboards are interviewing people going through. Decided to give it a pass and just rode around. If those poor kids tried to give me a survey in Spanish, it would be akin to trying to teach a dog to sing: You’ll just frustrate yourself and piss off the dog. Ran into groups of people doing these surveys all along the highway.
As I got down towards the border, started to see lots of donkeys, goats and pigs wandering on the road. Had to keep a sharp lookout as they liked to stand in the road just around a number of corners.
Four gas stations in Macara. First one had no gas, second one was closed, third one had gas and I stopped at and fourth one looked like it had gas. When I turned in, I was stopped right at the entrance by a guard wanting to know what I wanted. Told him and he directed me to a pump. That was so cool! I would have never been able to figure out which pump was available. At the pump there was also a Policeman (Ecuador police) and an Ecuadorian Army guy. They all left me alone but I thought it strange to have so much security at the gas station. Maybe Peruvians try to come up here for gas? Theivin furners!
This had to be the best and least painful boarder crossing ever. Total of an hour and 10 minutes which included about 20 minutes to wander over to the old boarder crossing to buy Peruvian SOAT insurance for the bike. It looks like they just built a new bridge so Migracion and Aduanas on both sides were in temporary quarters. I think I was the first one through for the day that needed a passport stamp and vehicle documents. Just local traffic and trucks. Very tranquilo.
Get stopped at an Aduana roadblock a few miles down the road to check documents. No problem other than a bus in front of me where they had to check out all the luggage compartments.
Road straightens out now as we approach the desert and then enter the desert. Looks like they have a good source of irrigation water as there are miles and miles of mango orchards and a fair amount of rice. Fields aren’t quite flat so have a fairly complex terracing job for the rice.
Stopped to take a picture of the mangos on the trees and a little three wheeler carrying 3 or 4 guys and a bunch of wood on the back. Stops ahead of me and motions me to come up. Just see these hands sticking out the side waving me up. So I stop and one of the guys hops out, big smile, shakes my hand and offers me a bunch of undersized mangoes. That was really nice of them and they were really good. The Peruvian people are already proving their friendliness.
Little three wheeler moto taxis everywhere . . . literally. It looks like some people might even use them for personal vehicles. Mangos being harvested now and many are loaded down with boxes of mangos that they drop off to be loaded on to larger trucks. There was probably about 500 pounds of mangoes on the back and inside of that 3 wheeler on the right. Pretty typical until their suspension broke then they had to cut back to 400 or so.
Truck probably headed to the city
Even have some grapes
Got to the hotel. Kind of a boutique thing in a residential neighborhood. Get checked in and ask where the parking is. “Uhh, we don’t have parking.” Well on your website it says you do. Well we really don’t but you can park your moto inside in the front courtyard. Works for me. Little tight getting in over the curb and simultaneously make a hard right to miss the door and then over the sidewalk – up and down, round and round . . .
Went down to the park about a block away for dinner. Had pork costillas.
Give you a bunch of fried plantains and some sort of hard corn thing – kind of like peanuts except corn as an appy. Great with beer.
Had a Cusqueña Beer. Black beer but not too heavy. Nice having a beer with body for a change (well except at the Superbowl, that was good too). Immediately my favorite Peruvian beer.